Cellar notes #42: Read all about it

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The launch of a new bi-monthly wine magazine is a welcome event to all those interested in learning more about small-scale, quality wines.

The launch of a new bi-monthly wine magazine is a welcome event to all those interested in learning more about small-scale, quality wines. In the midst of a debate about the quality of writing, or lack of it, in specialist wine magazines, the World of Fine Wine dispels the myth that the industry is divided into those who can taste wine and those who can write about it.

Edited by two of the country's most highly respected wine writers, Neil Beckett and Andrew Jefford, the publication is unashamedly aimed at the quality end of the market. With an impressive cast of American, Australian, French and Japanese writers, it encompasses topics from broad principles, such as taste and terroir, to the practicalities of tastings, auctions, travel and matching food with wine. The first issue features a full tasting - conducted by experienced specialists - of the controversial Bordeaux 2003 vintage, and a retrospective look at Barolo 1996 and 1997. At £69 for a year's subscription (via www.finewinemag.com), the magazine isn't cheap, but packs in 144 pages of erudite text and glossy photography.

Something else to be welcomed: the 20 winners of my competition to win a mixed case of 12 bottles of French vin de pays have been picked. The answers to the questions were: 1) There are 150 vins de pays appellations in France. 2) The majority of vins de pays are Vin de Pays d'Oc. 3) Vins de pays are allowed to put the grape variety name on the label. Congratulations to the winners - you'll know who you are by now.

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